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California Attorney General Bill Lockyer on Wednesday announced a $45.8 million settlement with Atlantic Richfield Co. over its failure to upgrade underground gasoline tanks, including three stations in San Francisco. Lockyer said Arco had failed to double-wall or use non-corrosive linings to prevent leaks and protect underground water supplies in 59 of its stations. “The landmark settlement ends our two-year investigation, which found Arco had failed to make required safety improvements,” the attorney general said. He was joined by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, whose predecessor, Louise Renne, joined the state in prosecuting the case in San Francisco Superior Court. Lockyer said that of the $45.8 million, $25 million will go for direct penalties and for recovery of costs to state and local jurisdictions. Herrera said the city’s share of the money would total $580,000 and pay the costs of his deputies who worked on the matter. He said although three local stations were targeted as lacking pipe upgrades, none was known to leak gas into the environment. Lockyer said the other $20.8 million was the amount Arco must spend to make additional improvements in its stations’ underground tanks from San Diego to Marysville, Calif. “We believe that Arco … is now in full compliance with the upgrade standards at all its gasoline stations,” the attorney general said. Winston Hickox, chief of the California Environmental Protection Agency, said other gas companies, such as Shell and Chevron, are believed to be in compliance. Hickox said the state would pursue those suspected of noncompliance, but random checks have not turned up any companies with corroded, leaky pipes. However, he noted, the companies are allowed to “self-certify” that they have complied with the state-mandated upgrades.

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